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3 SPECIAL OPERATIONS SQUADRON (AFSOC)

Posted 12/7/2007 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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3 Special Operations Squadron (AFSOC) Emblem
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Lineage.  Organized as Photographic Section No. 1 on 4 Apr 1918. Demobilized on 3 Jul 1919. Reconstituted, and consolidated (1924), with 1 Photographic Section which was authorized on 15 Aug 1919. Organized on 27 Sep 1919. Redesignated: 3 Observation Squadron on 1 Jun 1937; 3 Observation Squadron (Medium) on 13 Jan 1942; 3 Observation Squadron on 4 Jul 1942; 3 Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 11 Aug 1943. Disbanded on 2 Jul 1944. Reconstituted, and redesignated 3 Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Medium, on 9 May 1952. Activated on 28 May 1952. Inactivated on 1 Jul 1958. Consolidated (19 Sep 1985) with the following units: 3 Special Operations Squadron (constituted 3 Air Commando Squadron, and activated, on 5 Apr 1968; organized on 1 May 1968; redesignated 3 Special Operations Squadron on 1 Aug 1968; inac¬tivated on 15 Sep 1969); and 3 Tactical Electronic Warfare Training Squadron (constituted 3 Tactical Electronic Warfare Training Squadron on 13 May 1976; activated on 15 May 1976). Consolidated squadron retained designation: 3 Tactical Electronic Warfare Training Squadron. Inactivated on 30 Sep 1991. Redesignated 3 Special Operations Squadron on 20 Oct 2005. Activated on 28 Oct 2005. 

Assignments.  I Corps Observation Group, Apr 1918; First Army Observation Group, Nov 1918-Apr 1919; unkn, Apr-3 Jul 1919. 1 Wing, 27 Sep 1919; 1 Surveillance Group, c. 12 Nov 1919; Eighth Corps Area, Jun 1922 (in association with 12 Observation Squadron, affiliated with 1 Cavalry Division, Jun 1922-Jun 1926, and with 2 Division, Jun 1926-c. Oct 1931); 3 Attack Group, 8 May 1929; 12 Observation Group, attached 1 Oct 1930, assigned 31 Oct 1931, attached 1 Mar 1935; Eighth Corps Area, 1 Jun 1937; Third Corps Area, 20 Jun 1937 (attached to Coast Artillery School); Coast Artillery School, c. 1939; I Air Support Command, 1 Sep 1941 (attached to Coast Artillery School to 5 Apr 1942); 73 Observation Group, 12 Mar 1942; Second Air Force, 12 Aug 1942 (attached to II Ground Air [later, II Air] Support Command to 23 Sep 1942); IV Ground Air (later, IV Air) Support Command, 7 Sep 1942; Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics, 21 Jan 1943; Air Support Department, AAF School of Applied Tactics (later, Tactical Air Force, AAF Tactical Center), 18 Feb 1943 (attached to 432 Observation [later, 432 Reconnaissance; 432 Tactical Reconnaissance] Group, 27 Mar-1 Nov 1943); Tactical Air Division, AAF Tactical Center, 4 Jan 1944; Orlando Fighter Wing, 20 Feb 1944; AAF Tactical Center, 28 Mar¬-2 Jul 1944. 26 Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, 28 May 1952-1 Jul 1958. Pacific Air Forces, 5 Apr 1968; 14 Air Commando (later, 14 Special Operations) Wing, 1 May 1968-15 Sep 1969. 3 Tactical Fighter Wing, 15 May 1976; 6200 Tactical Fighter Training Group, 1 Jan 1980-30 Sep 1991. 16 Operations (later, 1 Special Operations) Group, 28 Oct 05-. 

Stations. Ourches, France, 4 Apr 1918 (detachment at Flin, France, 15-28 Jun 1918); Saints, France, 29 Jun 1918 (detachment at Ourches, France, until c. mid-Jul 1918); Francheville, France, 9 Jul 1918; Moras Ferme (near La Ferte-sous Jouarre), France, c. 25 Jul 1918; Lizy-sur-Ourcq, France, c. 4 Aug 1918; Coincy, France, c. 10 Aug 1918; Chailly-en-Brie, France, 13 Aug 1918; Toul, France, 24 Aug 1918; Remicourt, France, 19 Sep 1918; Julvecourt, France, 3 Nov 1918; Vavincourt, France, c. 28 Nov 1918; Colombey-les-Belles, France, c. 5 May 1919; port of embarkation, France, May-Jun 1919; Garden City, NY, c. 20 Jun-3 Jul 1919. Fort Bliss, TX, 27 Sep 1919; Kelly Field, TX, 2 Jul 1921; Fort Bliss, TX, 24 Jun 1922; Fort Sam Houston, TX, 22 Jun 1926; Brooks Field, TX, 31 Oct 1931; Langley Field, VA, 20 Jun 1937; Camp Cooke, CA, 22 Apr 1942; Blythe, CA, 30 May 1942; Keystone Heights, FL, 21 Jan 1943; Alachua Army Airfield, FL, 3 Feb 1944; Orlando AB, FL, 6 Mar-2 Jul 1944. Lockbourne AFB, OH, 28 May 1952-1 Jul 1958. Nha Trang Airport, South Vietnam, 1 May 1968-15 Sep 1969. Camp O'Donnell, Philippines, 15 May 1976-30 Sep 1991. Nellis AFB, NV, 28 Oct 2005-. 

Commanders.  Unkn, 4 Apr 1918-3 Jul 1919. Unkn, 27 Sep 1919-2 Jul 1944. None (not manned) 28 May 1952-1 Jun 1953; Maj Henry M. Henington, by 1 Jun 1953; Maj Robert C. Householder, 18 Jul 1953; Lt Col Henry M. Henington, 11 Jan 1954; Maj Carl A. Kluender, 4 Jul 1955; Maj John J. Mason, Jun 1956; Lt Col Roger A. Stevenson, Oct 1957; Maj Alvin G. Schuering, Dec 1957-15 Apr 1958; none (not manned), 15 Apr-1 Jul 1958. Lt Col Charles W. Hodgson, 1 May 1968; Lt Col Donald W. Feuerstein, 26 May 1968; Lt Col James R. Hyde, 2 Jan 1969; Lt Col Robert A. Davidson, 25 Feb-1 Sep 1969; none (not manned), 1-15 Sep 1969. Lt Col Thomas W. Wilson Jr., 15 May 1976; Maj Joshua T. Day III, 1 Aug 1977; Lt Col David F. Tippett, 7 Sep 1977; Lt Col Richard R. Sheppard, 15 Feb 1979; Lt Col Harold W. Stoll, 19 Sep 1980; Lt Col Paul H. Miller, 26 Aug 1983; Maj Jeff O. Prichard, 9 Jul 1985; Lt Col Charles F. Turk, Nov 1985; Lt Col David A. Geraldson, 24 Sep 1987- Dec 1989; Unkn, Jan 1990-Jun 1991; None (not manned), Jun-30 Sep 1991. Lt Col Gary L. McCollum, 28 Oct 2005; Lt Col Paul M. Caltagirone, 31 May 2007-. 

Aircraft.  None, Apr 1918-Jul 1919. None, Sep 1919-May 1937; included B-10, L-2, and apparently 0-25 and 0-43 during years 1937-1942; 0-47, c. 1938-1942; 0-49, 1941-1942; 0-52, 1941-1942; L-4, 1942; P-39, 1943-1944; A-20, 1943; DB-7, 1943; L-2, 1943; L-3, 1943. YRB-47, 1953-1954; RB-47, 1954-1958; B-47, 1958. AC-47, 1968-1969. None, 1976-1991. MQ-1, 2005-. 

Operations. Organized in France in Apr 1918, the Photographic Section No. 1 processed aerial photographs taken by flying units working with the I Army Corps (American) and French XXXVIII Army Corps, 5 Apr-Nov 1918. The 1 Photographic Section, from Sep 1919 until becoming the 3 Observation Squadron on 1 Jun 1937, processed aerial photography of associated observation squadrons in Texas. At Langley Field, VA, the squadron engaged in aerial observation work with the Coast Artillery School until Apr 1942. It supported ground forces on maneuvers during 1942, and served as a training and demonstra¬tion unit Jan 1943-Feb 1944. The squadron was not manned or equipped, 1 Mar-2 Jul 1944. Activated again in May 1952, the squadron did not receive its first aircraft until 1 Jul 1953, when it immediately began familiarization training, followed by in-flight refueling training in Feb 1954. It received RB-47E aircraft in Mar 1954, and conducted its first long-range mission (6 planes to Alaska for 10 days) in May 1954. The squadron deployed at RAF Upper Heyford, England, 14 Sep-3 Nov 1954. It photographed numerous Air Force bases and American cities, 1954-1958, and participated regularly in SAC exercises, but was not operational, 15 Apr-l Jul 1958. As the 3 Air Commando Squadron in South Vietnam, it absorbed resources of the 14 Air Commando Squadron. It flew combat missions in AC-47D gunships in close air support of ground forces, pro¬viding flare illumination and gunfire in support of strategic hamlets, out¬posts, and friendly forces under night attack. From 16 Feb-1 May 1969, all squadron aircraft were maintained on ground alert when not flying, due to the TET (New Year) offensive. It began transferring its gunships to the Vietnamese Air Force in Jun 1969 and flew its last mission on 7 Aug 1969. The 3 Tactical Electronic Warfare Training Squadron although having a "tactical" designation, was not equipped with aircraft. Rather, it operated Camp O'Donnell, Philippines, the Pacific Air Forces Electronic Warfare Range, the Crowe Valley Aerial Gunnery Range, and associated facilities. It provided realistic conventional, tactical, and electronic warfare training in a simulated com¬bat environment during COPE THUNDER exercises. These exercises provided combat training for fighter aircrews of not only the US Air Force, but also fighter crews of the US Marine Corps, US Navy, and allied air forces in the western Pacific area. Following the eruption of Mt Pinatubo in Jun 1991, personnel were evacuated, and the squadron remained unmanned until its inactivation. Provided unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) support to special operations forces, 2005-. 

Service Streamers.  World War II American Theater. 

Campaign Streamers.  World War I: Champagne-Marne; Aisne-Marne; St Mihiel; Muese-Argonne. Defensive Sector Streamers: Lorraine; Champagne; Ile-de-France. Vietnam:  Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase III; Vietnam Air/Ground; Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase IV; TET 69/Counteroffensive; Vietnam Summer-Fall, 1969. 

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None. 

Decorations. Presidential Unit Citation: Vietnam: 21 Jun 1968-30 Jun 1969. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Combat "V" Device: 1 May-20 Jun 1968; 1 Jul 1968-30 Jun 1969. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 21 Mar-9 May 1956; 1 Apr 1980-31 Mar 1982; 1 Jul 1985-30 Jun 1987; 1 Jun 1988-1 Jun 1990; [28 Oct 2005]-31 Aug 2006. Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Crosses with Palm: 1 May-30 Aug 1968; 1 May 1968-15 Sep 1969. 

Lineage, Assignments, Stations, and Honors through 23 Jul 2007.

Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through 23 Jul 2007. 

Supersedes statement prepared on 9 Nov 2005.
 
Emblem. Approved on 5 May 2006. 

Prepared by Patsy Robertson. 

Reviewed by Daniel Haulman.







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